To commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Nissan LEAF, the company produced a special version of the electric car that allows people to “see” what the driver is thinking and feeling projected into words and visuals on the road like cartoon thought bubbles. The thoughts are read through a headband that monitors brain waves.
We find the idea very interesting because the Nissan LEAF looks more like a Japanese cartoon Anime vehicle than any other car on the road. When the drivers are elated their thoughts show on the road.
This project offers a visualization of drivers’ experiences when handling the EV at night on a school course. The fun experienced by the driver is conveyed in eye-catching visuals, so that even those outside the car can share the excitement.
The car used in the “THE ELECTRIC CARtoon!” project features a driver’s headset that reads and analyzes brainwaves produced while driving. There are 33 visual patterns used to express the drivers’ various states of mind. Driver brainwaves and projected animations are automatically matched, and visualizations are in a cartoon-style with speech and thought bubbles. The car exterior also has a unique design, taking inspiration from Japanese animation, which is now popular across the world.
In this project, the brainwaves of 30 men and women were measured while driving the Nissan LEAF in various situations. In brain science, alpha waves are emitted when the brain relaxes and concentrates, while beta waves are produced when the brain feels tension or is excited.
In this project, alpha waves were defined as brainwaves emitted when the brain is in a conformable state, and beta waves as those when the brain is in an excited state. As a result, about half of those taking part emitted beta waves when starting the EVs and more than 90 percent emitted a significant quantity of alpha waves when turning road corners. In this experiment, we confirmed that those taking part were in “a comfortable state” or “an excited state” while they were driving EVs.
The idea seems fun when you see only the thoughts of young Japanese people who are enjoying their Nissan LEAF driving experience. If the drivers in Los Angels traffic were to do the same thing the words would have to be censored.